Daanish Schools: An achievement for our education system

Syeda Amnah Batool- The writer is a member of National Assembly.
2 mins read

Pakistan has a population of approximately 235 million, out of which at least 26.2 million children are of school-going age but still out of school. Among several other challenges that Pakistan faces as a developing country, the education crisis is one of the major ones that encompasses issues like access to education and the quality of its provision.

Though efforts and improvements have been made over the past few years, there are still some major issues that need serious consideration including low enrolment rate, particularly among young girls and children from marginalised groups due to cultural and social barriers. Moreover, we face problems like inadequate infrastructure, outdated curriculums, a shortage of competent, qualified teachers, and inadequate resources allocated to educational development. Additionally, there is a jarring difference between education enrolment and provision between rural and urban areas due to the difference in socio-economic factors.

Addressing these issues is of crucial importance for the development and societal growth of Pakistan in various sectors. Firstly, investing in education will enhance human capital and capacity which is essential for the economic and social development of our society. Moreover, providing adequate infrastructure, streamlining the access to education for marginalised and underprivileged children, and building the capacity for our children to be innovative are of substantial importance.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has made an earnest pivotal effort to address these issues by announcing the establishment and development of more “Daanish Schools” across Pakistan, an initiative which was introduced by him in 2001 during his tenure as the chief minister of Punjab. These schools aim to provide quality education to the marginalised and underprivileged kids, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas, breaking and streamlining the socio-economic barriers that exist in the provision of education, encouraging and enhancing innovation, creativity, and critical thinking among the children, and to strengthen the basis of education systems, especially in underdeveloped and far-flung areas.

Daanish Schools is a unique and one-of-its-kind initiative by the PM. These schools are strategically spread across rural, remote, and underdeveloped areas to reach and provide education to the maximum number of out-of-school and underserved children. The schools have a state-of-the-art infrastructure, including well-built classrooms, laboratories, and other facilities. The highlight of the school is its unique curriculum that focuses on enhancing skill sets, building capacity, and fostering creativity and innovation.

In addition to being an innovative and unique initiative, the PM ensured for it to have a diverse and inclusive student body that enrols students from diverse backgrounds and different ethnicities and groups, which will foster social harmony and unity among the children at an early age thus ensuring a prosperous and peaceful society for tomorrow.

Daanish Schools is a substantial effort by PM Shehbaz that is going to have a positive and long-term impact on the societal development of Pakistan. The fact that the schools are more focused on the rural and underserved areas will help to reduce disparities, not only in the provision and access to education but will also help overcome the gaps between the quality of education. These underprivileged children will have access to the same quality of education and facilities as their counterparts from well-off and affluent backgrounds.

These schools will not only contribute positively to access to education but is likely to inspire other educational institutes to encompass similar approaches that are innovative, inclusive, and up-to-date, eventually leading to the development and prosperity of our education systems. This initiative has the potential to instil a sense of pride among the people of Pakistan as they witness the growth and positive impact of education on our society and therefore will motivate and encourage them towards a collective effort of nation-building.

The Daanish School initiative by PM Shehbaz is a visual representation of the kind of the inclusive, developed and prosperous Pakistan he aims to build through his work and effort, and this initiative has the potential to bring about a positive impact on the overall development of the society of Pakistan.

Acknowledgement: Published in Daily Tribune on 17 April 2024

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